05/09/2019 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – Nearly 300,000 people are demanding that the Indonesian government not renew the operation license for the hard-line Islamic Defenders Front, commonly known by its Indonesian language acronym, FPI. After only three days, the online petition against the intolerant and violent group has garnered significant attention.
As an organization, FPI has operated for over 20 years, with a similar theology to another radical group, Hizb ut-Tharir, that was dissolved by the government two years ago. FPI targets religious minorities and free thinkers, and is run by conservative Islamic leaders.
Every five years, large organizations in Indonesia are required to renew their permits, meaning that June 2019, the government must either extend their license or revoke it. Other Islamic organizations have joined with Christian voices calling for the cessation of FPI.
Some Christians have doubts however that the dissolution of FPI would mark significant change for Indonesian society. Without the legal permits for operations, hard-line groups may set up underground networks that continue to perpetuate forms of violence against Christians.
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